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National League Review

September 10, 2012

There is nothing really new in the National League divisional races while the wild card races are not all that exciting either. Some details will follow.

The Washington Nationals, who apparently will not pitch Steven Strasburg again in this season, have a five and a half game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The Nationals had a (5-2) week at home while the Braves won 5 of 6 games, including a 3 game sweep vs the New York Mets on the road. The Mets won their first four games vs the Braves this season but Atlanta has won 10 of 11 since that point.

Though they lost 4 of 6 at home this week including 2 of 3 vs the (44-96) Houston Astros, the Cincinnati Reds still have an eight and a half game lead in the NL Central. The St.Louis Cardinals, who went (3-3) at home, are in 2nd place.

The San Francisco Giants, who also went (3-3) at home gained a game on the Los Angeles Dodgers and lead them by five and a half games. The Giants won 2 of 3 vs the Dodgers in San Francisco. In the Sunday night series finale, Dodgers’ ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw was unable to make the start. Likely the Dodgers only chance for the playoffs is through the wild card. Their manager Don Mattingly has never been part of a team that made the World Series. Also as either a player or manager, a Mattingly team has never finished first in his 14 previous big league seasons in either capacity.

The Braves, who suffered an incredible collapse last season in failing to make the “tournament,” have built a 5 game lead over the Cardinals for the top wild card berth. In turn, the defending world champion Cardinals have a one and a half game lead over the Dodgers and 2 and a half game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had a terrible (2-4) week at home vs the Astros and (54-86) Chicago Cubs, for the 2nd wild card spot. The Cubs swept a 3 game weekend series in Pittsburgh.

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